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  CNN    The Lead With Jake Tapper    News/Business. Headlines from around the globe span  
   politics, finance, sports and popular culture. New.  

    December 9, 2013
    1:00 - 2:01pm PST  

at 11:30 eastern, 8:30 pacific. it is called "icymi." really it's showcasing the best moments of cnn through the day. this is why we love, why we do what we do here on cnn. i will see you then. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. baby, it's cold outside. baby, it's only going to get worse. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. from coast to coast, flights are canceled, cars are piling up, millions have been stranded, tears are freezing as they trickle down the faces of field goal kickers. the latest on the winter blast that is slamming virtually the entire country. in other national news, they allegedly messed with the wrong guy. the fbi begins arresting l.a. sheriff's deputy officials who say they abused and hid one of their informers. new details on the investigation in just moments. they aren't the types of terrorists you see training on those monkey bars, but the
latest edward snowden leak shows the nsa infiltrated the world of online gaming to catch america's real life enemies. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." we begin with the national lead. if you're one of the thousands of stranded passengers watching us from an airport thanks to the nasty weather, well, go ahead, you have earned that third slice of sbarro pizza. a wintry mix of snow and ice is blanketing much of the country from the southwest to the northeast. in arkansas, one man described the falling sheets of ice as the apocalypse. in places like missouri and virginia, messy frozen roads have made commuting nightmarish, if not all together impossible. air travelers have not fared much better. more than 1500 flights were canceled today and with a fresh round of snow in the forecast poised to cause even more delays, some stranded passengers might be getting worried that they're on the verge of a lord of the flies-esque meltdown if
they don't get home soon. cnn meteorologist chad myers has the latest on which parts of the country are getting socked with snow again but first, let's go live to cnn's rosa flores in ridgefield, new jersey. how is it out there? >> reporter: well, you know, the temperatures are dropping, visibility is expected to be low and the national weather service just released an advisory with two to four inches expected. so you know exactly what that means. if you're going to be out on the roads, that means that you will need those low beams for low visibility, the windshield -- your windshield wipers for all the precipitation and you have to crank up the heat. i talked to the new jersey office of emergency management and they tell me this storm has moved from south to north, which means that all of the snow and ice and sleet they saw earlier in the day in the southern parts of the state has melted. that's one of the worries, folks, because temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, which means that a lot of those roads are going to have -- are going to be in treacherous condition. they tell us bridges,
overpasses, untreated roads are expected to be very dangerous so they're asking folks to be very careful when they're out and about on the roads. we have been talking to some of the drivers and one of the drivers said he made a 180 on the interstate. take a listen. >> scary. i spun almost 180 on the highway. i was lucky to be alive, thank god. it's a little nasty out there. black ice. >> reporter: was it black ice? i was about to ask you what it was. >> yeah. i was coming around a turn and just kind of spun out. whipped 180 degrees. >> reporter: now, we did talk to the department of transportation about their plans and they say they are preparing for the worst. they do have about 2,000 pieces of equipment that can spread salt, sand or plow the interstate and they tell us that they used about 800 overnight and jake, they are preparing those plans right now to figure out just how much they're going to need of all of those pieces of equipment to make sure that all the roads are safe. jake? >> rosa, thank you so much.
now let's go to meteorologist chad myers live in the cnn weather center with the latest on this next storm system set to smack the east coast. chad, there's all that black ice, all that melted water that's turning into ice, and now we're going to be hit with another storm on the east coast. >> then you just put snow on top of it, so you can't see it when you drive over it. brand new for you, jake, in your show only, winter storm warning for philadelphia. here's i-95 right through there, philadelphia, havre de grace and new york city, a two to four inch winter weather advisory for you. the criteria higher for philadelphia, three to five inches for you. maybe even a little bit more if you go toward king of prussia and back toward washington, d.c., two to four inches on top of what's already on the ground right now. it's a storm that's following the exact same storm path that the last one did. there is the snow, 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, it is all the way to new york, to boston, into
washington, d.c. probably starts just before dawn in d.c. and then works its way up the i-95. so you may not even have your school canceled tomorrow but you may get an early release because by the time 1:00, 2:00 comes, there could be a couple inches on the ground. keep that in mind if your kids are heading to school. you may have to have some place for them to go in the early afternoon. there will be snow coming down, it starts from the south and goes to the north. here's what it looks like on the very, very latest. this is the two to four inch snowfall, probably three to five, somewhere in between here, then four to six, baltimore, d.c. if you get up here towson, probably a little more. if you go to philadelphia, same story here, more toward the water gap, and less toward the parkway. but it's not two to four or four to six is that much snow for buffalo or green bay or chicago but you put two to four in d.c., everything just comes to a halt. baltimore, same story. philadelphia, you had eight inches of what was supposed to be flurries over the weekend, so
two to four or three to five is no more fun. >> meteorologist chad myers, thank you so much. now some breaking and frankly shocking news out of los angeles. it is the country's largest jail system but the feds say the inmates were not the only criminals there. several former and current deputies with the los angeles sheriff's department were just arrested as part of a major sting that targeted everything from corruption to inmate abuse. among the allegations, deputies and high-ranking officials in the jail went out of their way to try and hide an fbi informant. the informant was apparently providing agents with the names of corrupt deputies and the informant used a cell phone to take pictures of inmate abuse. the fbi will shed more light on what they uncover during a news conference set to take place within this hour. frankly, any minute. joining us from los angeles, near with the briefing will take place, cnn correspondent stephanie elam. this was a two-year investigation. how did it all get started? >> reporter: right. it's a two-year investigation, and i can tell you that that press conference has begun.
we are learning now that they have arrested 12 current and former los angeles county sheriff deputies and they all worked in this jail. they are saying that this all began because they started getting tips about the treatment in there, and quite frankly, what they have found, the fbi has found, is that there are certain members of the sheriff's department who believed they were above the law and there was a lot of misconduct in relation to that, saying that they actually were alleging that inmates were beaten and humiliated, and then after all of that was done, that they went ahead and covered up their misconduct. nine sheriff officials face charges, three brothers are charged with criminal complaints. now, one thing that has come out here, too, is this conduct about the behavior of sheriffs at l.a. county jails. the sheriff has come under fire about this over the last few years, saying that there are certain sheriffs that were not just falling in line. we are expecting to hear from him later on today to see what his take is on all of this. we can confirm now that 12
people who have worked in the county jails, either previously or right now, have been arrested. >> stephanie, what do we know about this fbi informant? >> reporter: well, we asked the fbi if they were going to confirm that this informant was a part of this, and that he was basically hidden inside the jail from the fbi by the sheriffs. they are not confirming that that exactly has happened yet. we are still awaiting word on that. obviously this is coming out now as this press conference is getting under way right this minute. >> lastly, i know you said lee bocca, the sheriff, will address matters later today. has there been any response at all from the sheriff's department to these very strong allegations from law enforcement investigating them? >> reporter: no. no. there has not been a response yet. we did reach out to see if we could get a comment. we have not ngotten one yet. i'm also hearing in my ear that it's 18 people that have been arrested and charged in relation to this probe now, jake. >> staggering number of
individuals with the los angeles county sheriff's office being arrested and charged with crimes, with wrongdoing. stephanie elam, thank you. coming up, 19 hours and no exits that don't involve parachutes. president obama, former president bush together on a marathon flight to south africa aboard air force one. what could the hang time mean for their personal relationship? plus, anderson cooper caught up with u2 front man bono as he arrives in south africa to say good-bye to his friend nelson mandela. stay with us. my customers can shop around-- see who does good work and compare costs. it doesn't usually work that way with health care. but with unitedhealthcare, i get information on quality rated doctors, treatment options and estimates for how much i'll pay.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. time for the world lead. he was a global icon for peace and nonviolence and his memorial service is obviously tomorrow. it's on pace to rival anything
we have seen in decades in terms of size and security presence. among the throngs of mourners flocking to johannesburg right now to bid farewell to nelson mandela are 91 heads of state, four united states presidents, tens of thousands of south africans and celebrities from all over the world. there will also be elite military troops, snipers and security dogs all there to watch over a stadium meant to hold some 90,000 people. they are coming to pay their respects and of course, celebrate mandela's life. anderson cooper is on the ground in johannesburg, where he caught up with bono. >> mandela also talked a lot about poverty which is obviously an issue very close to your heart. i think he said without the eradication of poverty, there can be no true freedom. >> yeah. overcoming poverty is not the gesture of charity, it's an act of justice. >> that's what you said. >> yes. like slavery, like apartheid, he
said poverty is not natural. it is man-made and so it can be overcome by the actions of human beings. he said to some generations, for a chance to be great, you can be that great generation. i have been working for this man since i was a teenager, and he has turned my life upside down. or right side up, you know. working on this struggle. >> his leadership was in part his ability not only to get consensus but also his ability to overcome the natural anger and bitterness and resentment he would have for being in prison for 27 years. he saw the need that he had to overcome that. he had to put that aside. >> yeah. he refused to hate, not just because he hadn't experienced rage, lived with rage, but that he thought, i think, that love
d would do a better job of liberation, of emancipation. what sort of country would they inherit if people were further embattled against each other. this is the gift of vision, i guess, into the future. being able to see a future before it exists. that's probably his gift, isn't it. >> tonight, when you close your eyes, is there an image of mandela that you have in your mind's eye? that you always kind of think of? i think of him being released from prison in 1990, leaving the prison gates with his arm up, winnie mandela by his side, that extraordinary moment when the world saw him for the first time. you knew him personally. is there an image you have in your mind? >> open fist, open mind, laugh, big long laugh. >> you can see the rest of
anderson's interview with bono tonight on "ac 360" 8:00 p.m. eastern. that was just one of the dozens of politicians, celebrities, civil rights leaders and others who are arriving in south africa to pay their respects to nelson mandela but only a select few got to hitch a ride with the president, including one guy who sat in that big chair before. the ex-presidents club has been called the most exclusive one in the world and they have been depicted as a super group of super heroes by "snl" but what happens in reality when you're stuck on a 19 hour flight with someone who has spent years repudiating everything you stand for? well, actually, it can mean beautiful things. the world is quickly preparing for what may be the largest gathering of heads of state since winston churchill's funeral in 1965. representing the u.s. alone will be presidents barack obama, george w. bush, bill clinton and jimmy carter. comprising one of the most prestigious frequent flyer clubs in the world.
today, air force one departed for south africa, where more than 90 world leaders are planning to attend nelson mandela's memorial tuesday in johannesburg. inside air force one, the obamas and george w. and laura bush along with former first lady clinton, the former president bill and daughter chelsea are flying from an event in rio and linking up with the rest of the club tomorrow. president george h.w. bush who has been in poor health for some time will not be making the trip. together, they are set for an almost 20-hour flight, even though there's only one bed on board. >> air force one is a very intimate setting so that's the place where you can have quieter conversations. once you get to one of these massive events, it's very hard to have real conversations. >> these long flights, believe it or not, can forge friendships. in 1981, president ronald reagan could not attend the funeral of egypt's anwar saddat so he enlisted others to attend instead. the flight was said to be
initially awkward and very long, but one notable friendship emerged. evident at ford's funeral more than 25 years later, when jimmy carter eulogized his long-time friend. >> for myself and for our nation, i want to thank my predecessor. >> fast forward to 1992, bill clinton and president george h.w. bush were fighting a bitter presidential contest, but seven years later, when they traveled together to attend the funeral of jordan's king hussain in 1999, that ice began to thaw and now they're partners all over the world. such a gathering of most or all living presidents is typically reserved only for monumental, usually sad events. the journey itself holds the potential for conflict and resolution on a first class scale. >> it's going to make a big, big difference in the atmospherics on air force one with george w. bush there with his successor
that president bush has been so reserved in making any negative comments. he's not second-guessing his successor and i think that the obama people really appreciate that. >> this gang has seen more of each other than usual. in april, the group suited up to attend the dedication of the george w. bush presidential library in texas. in august, clinton, obama and carter joined forces to honor the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. >> no former president likes to be marginalized. they have always been the center of attention and here, we are going to have three formers and a current president, four centers of attention. that's a lot to juggle. >> but for all their smiles, a stage shared by leaders can seem rather small at times. so safe travels to our nation's leaders today. may you get along well with your seat mate. we're told that air force one just made a refueling pit stop in senegal which means the presidents are well on their way to south africa and probably playing sodoku together. coming up, we knew he lost his job. now we are hearing what kim
jong-un's uncle did to get the boot. let's just say some of it would make even dennis rodman blush. plus, the nsa's newest breed of asians is using video games to track terrorists but how do you tell the nerds from the guys who want to harm america when they hide behind an avatar? are you flo? yes. is this the thing you gave my husband? well, yeah, yes. the "name your price" tool. you tell us the price you want to pay, and we give you a range of options to choose from. careful, though -- that kind of power can go to your head. that explains a lot. yo, buddy! i got this. gimme one, gimme one, gimme one! the power of the "name your price" tool. only from progressive. peoi go to angie's listt for all kinds of reasons. to gauge whether or not the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in other world news, the rumors are true. no, not that miley cyrus has been named "time" magazine's person of the year. we are talking about confirmation that kim jong-un's uncle has been removed from his powerful post. the story we told you about last week. state television aired a photo of him being hauled away from a meeting. north korea says he was removed for quote, criminal acts, including corruption, womanizing, abusing drugs and alcohol and mismanaging the economy. he was also accused of dreaming different dreams. what that means. i want to bring in christopher hill, former assistant secretary of state and lead delegate during the six-party talks with north korea from 2005 to 2009.
we talked about this last week. you suspected this was true. now we have confirmation the uncle has been pushed out. were you surprised by how much detail the north koreans released? >> you bet. this isn't the first time they purged leaders, even senior leaders. in fact, jang sung-taek has been purged before but has never done a perp walk. >> who do you think might replace him? >> good question. if anybody. but i think what we're seeing is kim jong-un really wants to say hey, i'm in charge, and he obviously is in a position to do that. you know, jang sung-taek has been out of the picture for several months so clearly it has his fingerprints on it that kim jong-un really pulled this off himself. i don't think he has as much adult supervision today as he may have had before. >> let's turn to some rare good news out of north korea. it's rare that i get to do this. but 85-year-old korean veteran merrill newman was released after being detained by north korea for over a month.
he's now back home in california with his family. he just released a statement. quote, i have given considerable thought to this and have come to the conclusion that i just didn't understand that for the north korean regime, the korean war isn't over and that even innocent remarks about the war can cause big problems if you're a foreigner. what do you make of all this? >> well, i think it appears that he made some comments to people and the north koreans kind of went to town on it. i don't think they had any business holding him. i don't think they had any business detaining him for so many weeks. so i'm glad they let him go. but you know, these kinds of things happen and that's why people really ought to think very carefully about going to north korea. >> and having been to the dmz there, it is very obvious that north korea is very much -- not just north korea, south korea, too, they are still in war in all but action. >> oh, man, i have walked over that dmz, walked from south korea into north korea and from
north korea back to south korea, and yeah, you really get a sense that first of all, there's no demilitarized zone in that place. >> it's plenty militarized. meanwhile, ken bae still being held. how do you view his prospects? >> well, he should be released immediately. there is no question. i know there have been some efforts to try to get him out and usually, as i mentioned i think last week, the best way to handle this is not to talk too much about it publicly but i'm sure there are big efforts to get this young man out. he did nothing wrong. he ought to be released immediately. >> then lastly, where do you see the future of kim jong-un and his actions in the region? where do you see him going? >> you know, this is a big transition. when kim jong-il died, the father died, and son took over, that was obviously a big transition. but everyone looked at jang
sung-taek as the guy who would keep this all together so now he's gone. in some respects, this is the big transition. we're not sure where this is heading. one thing that's clear to me that kim jong-un is not a reformer. this is not someone who really has a kind of different view of how north korea should act. so i think we're into kind of some uncharted waters at this point. >> dennis rodman said to be heading there in another few weeks, bizarrely enough, one of the best chances for diplomacy that we have. >> dennis rodman. well, i was never a big fan of his basketball and i'm not going to get on the diplomatic band wagon with dennis rodman. >> all right. fair enough. chris hill, thank you so much for your time. enjoy your flight back to colorado. still ahead in the buried lead, a pulitzer prize winning journalist challenges the obama administration's story about syria's civil war. and which side may have used chemical weapons. later in the pop culture lead, it was a great weekend to be in a warm theater munching popcorn, and watching a movie.
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welcome back to "the lead." time now for our buried lead. today's is an explosive, hotly disputed new piece from pulitzer prize winning journalist seymour hirsch allegeding the obama administration cherry picked the intelligence it had about who used sarin gas to kill hundreds of syrian civilians in august. here's what president obama said when addressing the nation on september 10th, making the case for military action. >> we know the assad regime was responsible. in the days leading up to august 21st, we know that assad's chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. they distributed gas masks to their troops. then they fired rockets from a regime controlled area into lebanon neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces. if we fail to act, the assad
regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. >> hirsch, however, says it's not so crystal clear that assad was the one who definitively used the chemical weapons. to be clear, cnn has not verified any of his reporting. let's bring in seymour hirsch to explain. what exactly are you reporting? >> first, i'm not saying i know but i don't think our administration knew, either. don't forget, we are talking about the president who wanted to go to war against a country for which there is no national security interest here. we're not threatened by what's going on in syria. he was talking about going to war on the basis of having a case which you just heard him say was just not so. we didn't have that kind of information in real time. in fact, i doubt if that -- my friends tell me that was a story just put together. the basic real point that i make is that we know and we have known since spring that the most radical jihadi, if you will, opposition group, rebel group, we are talking about serious,
serious people, had access to sarin. there was a lot of intelligence reporting about it. the white house can say anything they want about it but that is a fact. that they had access to sarin. so when the incident took place, the one thing they didn't do is they didn't consider the possibility that this group could have been one of the people involved. they went right away to the notion it had to be assad and the world's press went with him, including the american press. in fact, they didn't have much of a case. >> not surprising to hear the white house is strongly disputing your report. we received this statement from the director of national intelligence spokesman sean turner. quote, the intelligence clearly indicated that the assad regime and only the assad regime could have been responsible for the 21st august chemical weapons attack. there is no evidence to support mr. hirsch's claims to the contrary and the suggestion there was any effort to suppress intelligence is simply false. he added to me separately when i said what about this report that hirsch talks about the cia report or this joint chiefs looking into whether or not they
should -- what they should do if there is a contingency to send troops there, they said as of december 9th, this is turner again, 2013, no u.s. intelligence agency assesses that the front has succeeded in developing a capability to manufacture sarin. >> that's contradictory to the intelligence they have and that happens. this is an embarrassing thing for a president of the united states. if somebody is saying look, i've got no problem with obama, i voted for him, i think he's as good a president we're going to have and bright but the fact of the matter is he did not have a case, there's no suggestion anybody in the government has made that we had any information about the president of syria, bashar al assad, having any direct role. he never alleged that. always it's always bashar did this, bashar did that. it's uncomfortable to say, it's against the stream, but the reality is inside the american intelligence community, this particular handling of the issue has been -- caused an awful lot of trouble. >> the united nations high commissioner for human rights told reporters in geneva last week that the u.n. commission of inquiry on syria's chemical
weapons attack quote, points to the fact that evidence indicates responsibility at the highest level of government, including head of state. i know that the u.n. report did not say who was responsible. >> u.n. commissioner was talking about war crimes in general, specifically excluded the gas issue. because they had no information about it. they're not allowed, the u.n., presumably, to make a statement about who did what. they can say that there was a gas attack, but they don't want -- by commission, i guess, they're not allowed to say who did it. i don't know why. because i think there's a lot of evidence to be made available. there is sarin, it was used. the sarin that the syria army has has a different chemical component than the sarin that would be made by the front because the army is more sophisticated, has certain additives. certainly someone has looked at that. i don't know why they don't talk about the sarin they have and whether it shows it came from the army or did not. the other thing one could say is the president suggested we were watching in real time, what we heard him say in that bit, we were watching in real time as
this incident took place. that's not so. the government has acknowledged -- >> they acknowledged they were not watching in real time. it was after the fact. >> then the question then is if it's such a wonderful case he has and they're so sure, why so quick to walk away? why say after a little heat, why say that we're going to go all of a sudden, he's a constitutionalist, the guy who invaded tripoli without one worry about the war powers act, all of a sudden he wants to go to congress. >> that's a separate issue. let me ask you this last question, which is the british, the french both believe that assad was responsible or at least the syrian regime. the iranians even seem to have indicated that they also held the assad regime responsible, and it's not just the united states. there seem to be consensus. >> has there been any positive evidence yet? has anybody said here's the chemical? did we know that the front, no matter what they say, the syrian opposition, not necessarily the free syrian army, the secular
opposition, the islamist opposition, has access to this stuff. it's not hard to make sarin. you can mix it in the backyard, two chemicals melded together. the fact is, they have it, we know it, they're not talking about it. it's embarrassing to them. i don't mean to embarrass them. but that's, you know, i'm sorry, that's just the way it is. it was there, they should have been a suspect and they weren't looked at. >> all right. obviously the white house disputes the fact that -- your assertion. >> let me just say this. time is running out. when i did abu ghraib that was a different white house. the comment they made for the record was hersh is throwing crap against the wall. nobody likes unpleasant stories and will deny it. period. >> it's your track record not just for abu ghraib that is the reason you're here right now. i respect your work. but it's obviously a hot story. >> of course. >> thank you so much for being here. we really appreciate it. just in to cnn, don't laugh, it's paid for. according to treasury secretary
jack liu, the u.s. government has sold its last remaining stake in general motors which it bailed out in 2009. i want to go straight to zain asher. explain the significance of this sale. it's all gone? >> absolutely. the treasury department just announcing that it's selling the remaining shares it has in g.m. remember just a bit of background, g.m. actually got about $50 billion from the government during the financial crisis. that money was actually converted into equity. the government did also bail out chrysler, too. but the government actually owned more than 60% of g.m. it's been slowly selling those shares, winding down as the stock price recovers. the taxpayers' current state was 2%. that's about 70 million shares. obviously the higher g.m. stock price goes, the more taxpayers will make back. but likely we won't be breaking even. g.m.'s shares have to surge upwards of roughly $300 for that to happen. g.m. actually closed the day at $40 a share so there is a loss. by getting out now, the government can officially takes its hands out of g.m.
as you remember, its involvement was highly controversial back in 2009. obviously a lot of people were saying it's not the government's place to bail out corporate america. president obama, though, has always defended that as saying that bailouts were actually cheaper than obviously the complete collapse of the auto industry which would have led to huge job losses, huge pension costs for retirees. now if you look at the auto industry now, car sales are actually on track to be the best before the recession. automakers are hiring again, making money, and are profitable. jake? >> zain, if it's a $10 billion loss for taxpayers, is that according to experts, is that a reasonable loss for what was achieved with bailing out the automaker? >> well, for the government, you know, their focus is really just recouping what they can and actually getting out now. obviously, g.m. when they actually bought those shares was roughly around $300 a share. now they are getting out with $40 a share so it is a significant loss but their priority is just to sort of get out now and unwind it off its hands. >> thank you so much. coming up, so you thought
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. now turning to the national lead. it's kind of like the matrix except the agents are with the nsa and british intelligence and their targets are terror suspects. we learned today that government spies have reportedly been infiltrating the virtual worlds of online video games like "world of war craft" and "second life" to try and recruit informants and stop terror attacks before they happen. that's according to documents leaked by former nsa contractor edward snowden and reported in a joint investigation by the "new york times," pro publica and the guardian. now, if your knowledge of the
video game universe begins and ends with "frogger" don't worry. we will break it down for you. spencer ackerman, u.s. national security editor at the guardian joins me from new york. spencer, the guardian's calling this a hoarde of undercover orks. please break out the nerd to english/english to nerd dictionary and translate that for us. >> world of war craft like many other popular addictive video games is this amazing deeply, deeply, deeply richly developed fantasy game in which you go on quests along with your virtual friends and face things like orks and weird creatures and other things that i don't know about because of course, i would never play these games. never. >> how would a militant or terrorist group use such a game to launch an attack?
>> well, that's kind of unclear. but the suspicion around the sort of late 2000s that emerged in intelligence circles, in defense circles, was that as more of our lives migrate into massively multiple online role playing games like warcraft and others, more people would seek to use them as sort of online sanctuaries where you wouldn't think intelligence agencies like the nsa would be watching, so they could potentially discuss planning attacks like that. >> do we have any idea how many agents might be playing this game, these games, at any one time? >> i have some suspicion about people who have gone after me and totally poned me but no, we don't really have that suspicion. what we do have based on documents and based on subsequent reporting is that they collected quite a lot of data, that it wasn't targeted to particular individuals but was an opportunity as one of the
documents describes the online role playing world. >> the xbox live console network has more than 48 million players. how many people possibly were unknowingly playing with spies? all of them? >> it's a great question and potentially, yes. we have a great deal of difficulty determining precisely how many people's online gaming communities were infiltrated or what the real exposure was. it's not as simple as asking someone, you know, guys who have seen -- >> cnn has not received an on the record response to these articles from the nsa but do say their programs are all centered on valid foreign intelligence targets. have any terrorists, to your knowledge, actually been caught by doing this? >> not to my knowledge. there has been a great deal of effort not just by nsa, but by the u.s. central command, to try and put people pretending to be
either gamers or people in chat rooms otherwise seemingly unaffiliated with these groups to try and penetrate these networks but we really haven't seen that either, a, these sorts of online environments led to actual terrorist plots or, b, much evidence of how much intelligence was really usefully collected out of them. >> after 9/11, intelligence agencies were faulted for a failure of the imagination. here we are watching them and they're trying to rectify that. thank you so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. when the very people responsible for this new culture of oversharing tell you you're being too nosey, maybe it's time to take a good hard look in the mirror. facebook, twitter, google, they are among several tech giants calling on the nsa to back off. eight companies signed an open letter to the obama administration and congress calling for new limits on government surveillance. they say while they understand the need for the national security agency to protect american citizens, they think
the snooping has gone too far. plus, of course, it's bad for business. the companies have been getting hammered with consumer complaints ever since leaked documents revealed the extent to which the nsa tracks internet and cell phone communications. according to the "washington post" the latest document dump showed the agency collects about five billion cell phone records a day. coming up on "the lead," take football and snow, lots of snow, mix in a dash of lesean mccoy, what do you get? well, dare i say perfection. highlights from the craziest sunday in recent memory, next.
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join the nation. ♪ baby... ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the sports lead. for the first cold weather super bowl to be played this february, at the home of the new york jets and giants, the farmers almanac predicts, quote, an intense storm, heavy rain, snow and strong winds.
we may have gotten a preview of that yesterday. it was awesome. snow, sleet and ice impacted games all the way up i-95 on sunday. no game was more fun to watch than the instant classic at the linc in philly. you can almost hear the nfl films music in the background as the eagles and lions combined for eight touchdowns, but there was only one extra point attempt because kicking was impossible, with about eight inches of snow on the ground. the eagles were victorious. for all the snow yesterday, it's the boys of summer on everyone's mind today, specifically three men whose resumes are as long as july is hot. joe torre, bobby cox and tony la russ russa will be ensliehrined in t hall of fame. they led their teams to 17 pennants and eight world series titles. torre won four of those championships with the new york yankees, including three straight from '98 through 2000.
larussa won nearly as many games as he made calls to the bull pen, finishing his career third on the all time wins list. while cox only claims a single championship banner, he skippered the braves to 14 straight post season appearances. the pop culture lead now. given the kind of weather most of us suffered through this weekend, it's no wonder a movie named "frozen" took top spot at the box office, hauling in more than $31 million in its second weekend. that was enough to dethrone the "hunger games" sequel which had been holding steady at number one for two weeks in a row. rounding out the top three, "out of the furnace" which didn't exactly heat things up. it earned a disappointing $5 million in its opening weekend. remember the adam sandler classic "that's my boy"? a pithy examination of the estranged father/son dynamic and really a seminal piece of cinema from 2012. you don't remember it? i didn't see it, either. but it's memorable as one of the movies that landed sandler atop forbes' list of the most
overpaid actors. the magazine takes a big star and does a little calculus based on how well their last three films did at the box office versus how much they were paid. sandler gave hollywood the most bomb for the buck. right behind him, katherine heigl. "one for the money" helped her make the list. even oscar winner denzel washington is on the list and steve carell makes an appearance. make sure to follow me on twitter and also at theleadcn. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i'll be back in two hours on "outfront" at 7:00 p.m. eastern. until then, i turn you over to wolf blitzer. he is in "the situation room." happening now, automation addiction on this, the eve of hearings on a deadly airline
disaster, there are now growing questions about whether airline pilots are relying too much on cockpit technology. also, spies busted, current and former russian diplomats just brought down by prosecutors for fraud, now suspected of espiona espionage. what brought them to the attention of federal agents? and a vip flight, air force one departing for nelson mandela's memorial service with an impressive passenger list including two presidents and three first ladies. what's going on behind the scene? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it was a horrifying and deadly disaster, all caught on camera. tomorrow, the national transportation safety board will begin a two-day hearing on the july crash of this asiana jumbo jet at the san francisco airport. the "wall street journal" is reporting that investigators say the crash was